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Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?

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ryan elder
Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 7:22:57 pm

I met up with a DP for a film project and wanted to shoot a couple of running chase scenes, for it, but I did not have a steadicam operator for the job, that I could find. This DP said we should shoot it like Kurosawa did in Seven Samurai, and just zoom in from really far away on a tripod, and pan on the tripod and track the actors for a long time through panning.

However, when shooting in a city, is there enough room to zoom in that far? Wouldn't buildings and cars and people and things like that get in the way of the shot, when zoomed in from so far away?

He says we will just have to find locations where we have enough room, but I wonder is that worth it, for that style, or would that be too compromising, if I am choosing locations primarily based on that?

I just wanted other opinions on this, as to whether or not it would cause more problems or not?


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Rick Wise
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 8:24:14 pm

This DP found a relatively simple solution to your problem. Yes, that solution in turn creates another problem: space. One of the ways art is always made is finding some solution within the means you can bring to the project. It's amazing what we come up with. Limitations can be a great gift, even if at first they seem like a curse.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 8:57:56 pm

Another thing is, will this Kurosawa style look weird to a modern audience? Cause all the angles are from the side of the actor more so, and audiences are use to chase scenes being down from the camera in front of the actor or behind them, so would this style all done from the side look too 'second dimensional', to a modern audience, do you think?


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Rick Wise
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 9:14:08 pm

Done well, it will work. Bungled, it will not work.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 9:17:25 pm

Okay thanks. Well having to find good or suitable locations that will be okay with shooting is tough enough, and if I have to make decisions according to space around the location that makes it more tough as well.

What if we shoot on a dolly and follow the actors from behind them and in front of them, with fifty feet of track? Now normally the track will be seen in the shot, but I suggested to the DP that we zoom past the track and the DP said it wouldn't look right. He said it was hard to explain it just won't look right, to have a chase scene, where you are following an actor on a dolly and it's zoomed in past fifty feet of track.

But the DP has no problem zooming in from the side on a long lens. Do you think the DP is right though, and this is a mistake that zooming past fifty feet of track will not look right?


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Todd Terry
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 10:26:11 pm

It's two completely different things.

Stop worrying yourself to death about the dolly track, this is NOT a dolly track situation... so just let that go.

Trust your DP.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 10:40:09 pm

But the DP is saying we need a location with a lot more space in order to zoom in, which means I have to look for one that is much, much bigger for a telephoto. So I feel the DP is making it harder for me in a way.


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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 10:41:31 pm

I mean can't the DP make it work within the location that he has rather than delaying things, looking for a bigger one?


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Todd Terry
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 10:48:22 pm

You'll be fine, for that shot you need a downtown location that does NOT have solid buildings on both sides of the street. Find a location where one side of the street is clear of structures (parking lots. open field, whatever), that will let you get far enough back to shoot your talent across the street with a long lens.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 10:51:48 pm

Okay thanks, but across the street will not be long enough for these types of shots, that the DP is talking about in Kurosawa movies.


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Todd Terry
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 11:06:59 pm

That's why I said no buildings on that side, so you can back way way way up. You're not just shooting across the street, you're shooting across that much further distance than the width of the street. Maybe even a whole block away if you find a empty block, or shoot across a park or whatever. Just not shooting across a street that has tall buildings on both sides of the street.... which would limit your camera-to-talent distance.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 28, 2018 at 11:43:37 pm

Okay thanks. There is a murder and chase scene that happens in an underground parking lot. However, I have to keep it underground, away from the public, story wise, cause it makes no sense why someone would try to kill someone in full view of the public in the open street though.

So story wise, the suggestion to shoot in a building that anyone can see into, makes no sense though. So what then?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 30, 2018 at 9:29:19 pm

...Rewrite? ☺


I'd say go for what's practical, forget the super long lens approach, which is going to provide more headaches than you realize now, and shoot with motion-compensating rigs. You should be able to rent something usable in any bigger city.

Also, think about what might be possible using digital set extensions in post, if you can shoot practicals in a smaller space but then extend it via planar tracking and compositing. This is a trick that goes at least as far back as the old Captain Video serials. Shoot a ton of HDR stills of the entire garage, leave subtle markers in key areas, before and after you shoot the action... You might be surprised what a clever compositing ace can do, if you block things out beforehand.

You might look at the FilmRiot videos online for some inspiration on how to pull off such shots on your budget.


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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 30, 2018 at 10:11:00 pm

Okay thanks, so you are saying to add different backgrounds in post and then add movement... or what are you saying exactly?

What is a motion compensating rig? The rental store here has dollies but that's it so far.


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ryan elder
Re: Would this type of cinematography work with this lens?
on Jul 30, 2018 at 10:14:54 pm

Oh I see what you mean by digital set extensions, but the actor will not be able to move into the post extended space right? So what is the point, if the actor is to remain trapped in a corner of the picture and cannot move into the extension?


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